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Sound Check's Blog – April 2017 Archive (58)

NEW MUSIC: Echelon The Seeker Creates An Indie Afrofuturist Fantasia For the 21st Century On His Self-Titled Debut #SoundCheck

Here's a theory: there's literally nothing better than sweeping epic sci-fi concept albums. From the stunningly imagined future of Janelle Monae to the glorious absurdity of George Clinton's universe to the queer optimism of David Bowie, and what the hell I'm feeling generous, the compelling gibberish of Coheed And Cambria. There's something absolutely irresistible when an artist creates a rich world beyond the notes. On his self-titled debut, Echelon The Seeker weaves epic…

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Added by Sound Check on April 28, 2017 at 5:40pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Soul singer Bosco joins DJ Smiles Davis to start the day off right with the infectuous "Morning Blues"

After almost 10 years behind the decks, working with artists including Missy Elliot, Janelle Monae, and Erykah Badu, DJ Smiles Davis' solo career is finally about to take off. Her first EP, But She Did, will be released later this summer, but the former dancer's second single from the album gives us another taste of what to expect–and we love it! In "Morning Blues," Smiles' joins Atlanta-based rising star Bosco, whose silky smooth melodies on top of Smiles'…

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Added by Sound Check on April 28, 2017 at 3:55pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Bloc Party's Kele Okereke shares West African mythology-inspired track, “Yemaya”

Ahead of the release of his first solo acoustic album, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke shares his new track, “Yemaya”. A mellow, contemplative track that both hypnotic and unease, “Yemaya“ is melodic, story-like richness. “In the west African Yoruba religion, Yemaya is the mother goddess of the ocean, she is kinda the patron saint of pregnant women and fertility," …

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Added by Sound Check on April 28, 2017 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Stream Gorillaz' new album ft. Grace Jones, Danny Brown, De La Soul, Kelela & more

After giving fans anticipation overload with leaked track listings and dropping song after song in the lead up to its release, the wait is finally over for the new Gorillaz album, Humanz!



Humanz is the group's first studio album in nearly 7 years. For fans of the band, the 26 track offering with…

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Added by Sound Check on April 28, 2017 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Alabama Shakes are coming to a city near you to rock TF out

Good news for fans of Blues-Rock band Alabama Shakes, the group recently announced additional dates for their current tour, adding stops in Albany, NY, Shelburne, VT, Boston, MA, and Portland, ME, this summer. ‘Shakes fans in the rest of the country will still have a chance to catch them this week at two stops in Louisiana, in Pasadena on June 24 at…

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Added by Sound Check on April 27, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Queer hip-hop artist Christopher Lovell is one to watch with his mixtape “GATEKEEPERS”

With soundscapes that reflect the diversity of his creative endeavors, the playwright and actor who graduated from the Harvard University/American Repertory Theatre graduate acting program, hip-hop artist Christopher Lovell’s “GATEKEEPERS” is an eclectic mix of energetic and soulful melodies.



The religious themes are heavy, though, causing the collection to veer into the realm of gospel in the same ways that keeps me from enjoying artists like Chance The Rapper,…

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Added by Sound Check on April 26, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Anderson .Paak is working with Nile Rodgers, Bruno Mars & Disclosure on NxWorries project

Via Instagram, ‘Malibu’ singer Anderson. Paak hinted at an upcoming collaboration with tourmate Bruno Mars, Nile Rodgers (Hitmaker in hand) and Guy Lawrence of Disclosure. While the video features no new music itself, the clip itself shows sequences of studio footage that was captured at Abbey Road Studios by touring photographer Felix Dickinson and…

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Added by Sound Check on April 26, 2017 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

PREMIERE: Folk-rock singer Andy Palmer pays tribute to Harriet Tubman in powerful new single "Black Moses"

Denver-based Andy Palmer has the type of timeless voice you'll never forget. Weighty and full of emotion, the folk-rock singer's music has been compared to the likes of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, hypnotic in its ability to be both full of strength and vulnerability simultaneously.



A former New York City public defender, the artist describes his work as "struggling with contradiction," something he views as inherent to the practice of law. His third and latest…
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Added by Sound Check on April 26, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

INTERVIEW: Singer Naomi Pilgrim on xenophobia in Sweden & her recent cover of The Specials' “Racist Friend”

With xenophobic sentiment and the far right rising all over Europe and the United States, Swedish singer Naomi Pilgrim's latest single is a call to action. The reimagined cover of The Specials' classic “Racist Friend” updates the sound and lyrics for 2017, but the story's the same: there's no coddling hateful people. We recently got the opportunity to talk to Naomi about the struggle for social justice in Sweden, and art's ability to transform the narrative.…



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Added by Sound Check on April 25, 2017 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

Solange will take her live show to museums this spring!

Sitting down with Complex during weekend 2 of Coachella, the ‘Seat At The Table’ songstress, Solange, shared her exciting plans to take the acclaimed album on the road this year. Opting out of the traditional touring circuit that most artists rely on for the bulk of their earnings, Solange described her two (touring, but not touring) events…

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Added by Sound Check on April 25, 2017 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Non binary UK punk artist Jacob V Joyce is inspired by African & Caribbean revolutionaries

Jacob V Joyce is a non binary interdisciplinary artist whose mission is to "disrupt commercial and community spaces with queer and decolonial, creative interventions." Inspired by African deities and African and Caribbean revolutionaries, Joyce pokes fun at racism and cissexism in creatively humorous, yet powerful ways through their zines, music, workshops, clothing, and other forms of art.



Growing up in Mitcham in south London, Joyce told…

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Added by Sound Check on April 25, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

MeShell Ndegeocello's mother found unharmed after being reported missing

Earlier this week, ten-time Grammy award winner Meshell Ndegeocello reached out to fans on social media with an urgent request. The artist's 72-year-old mother suffers from dementia, and she went missing in Oxon Hill, Md., on Monday, April 10. On Instagram, Ndageocello reached out to anyone who might have information.…



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Added by Sound Check on April 25, 2017 at 11:32am — No Comments

Willow and Jaden Smith are starting a rock band

Usually, when Jaden Smith tweets, I have no idea what is being said. It's gotten to the point where even posts that seem straightforward scare me into thinking I'm losing it, because I'm so not used to making sense of them right away. This is part of the reason why when he tweeted that he, his sister Willow and his actress girlfriend Odessa Adlon were starting a rock band, I had to confirm across multiple sources before actually believing it.…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 2:21pm — 1 Comment

Meet Botswana's fearsomely vibrant heavy metal subculture, The MaRock

In recent years, the rocker subculture of Botswana has attracted a lot of international attention. ‘MaRock’, as they are popularly known, have been a part of Botswana’s cultural landscape since the 1970s.



MaRock are known for wearing elaborate outfits, sporting tassels, studs and cowboy boots and hats. Many integrate animal parts, (sculls, teeth, tufts of hide) into their regalia, adding a uniquely local twist to the local rocker mythology.



As the…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Atlanta-based eclectic-soul artist Rahbi shares uplifting acoustic performance of “Better Life”

Stripped down to barebones, Atlanta-based multi-genre artist RAHBI performs acoustic version of his track “Better Life” at Sofar Sounds New York. A sunny, eclectic-soul song about self-love, positivity, and being happy and present in the moment. Channeling some of that otherworldly, almost spiritual calming and radiant energy that artists like Prince regularly tapped into, RAHBI’s bright vocals usher in a wave gratitude. But don’t take my word for it—check out “Better…

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Added by Sound Check on April 24, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

Prince's band The Revolution begins national tribute tour celebrating the late star

Just before the anniversary of the star's death, Prince's former band The Revolution announced a national tour in celebration of the "Purple Rain" singer. This comes after the overwhelming reaction to the surprise announcement of the band's reunion in February.



The Revolution was formed in 1979 by Prince, drummer Bobby Z, and keyboardist Matt Fink. The next four years saw several iterations of the band, until Prince finally settled on a band that could enact his…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

How Prince taught me the importance of accepting not knowing everything about gender

"I'm not a woman / I'm not a man / I am something that you'll never understand." – Prince, "I Would Die 4 U"



During his life, I wasn't the biggest Prince fan. I grew up under a very religious Hindu mother and Muslim father, and the music I was exposed to was limited due to their conservative restrictions. To this day, my lack of knowledge around many of the Black cultural markers of my early life still causes me to stand out among my…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Why we need more voices like Nina Simone's in these critical times

Nina Simone was nothing if not unapologetically black. An outspoken and fierce voice in the Civil Rights Movement, her unflinching and unparalleled talent, Nina’s genius and creativity fueled the music and resistance against White Supremacy unlike anyone else, then and now. Protest anthems like "Mississippi Goddam" and "To Be Young, Gifted and Black", encapsulated the rawness and anger, pride and self-love of the times that changed the dialogue and movement really. Now, in…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 11:56am — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Austin hip-hop duo Riders Against the Storm takes on the trauma of slavery in haunting video "Mali"

Riders Against the Storm is one of the top hip-hop acts in Austin, setting the hill country ablaze with conscious, community-building music. The husband and wife duo (Chaka and Qi Dada) recently headlined the Pandora House during SXSW, and won top awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.



Their video for "Mali", released today, tackles the history of slavery, and the spiritual practices Black people used to guide them through it. The video, the title of which is also a play…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Are we entitled to a dead artist's unreleased work? New Prince EP raises old questions

Earlier this week, news broke of a new Prince EP set to drop on the one year anniversary of his death. The title track “Deliverance” streamed on iTunes, and the internet basically exploded. (At least the parts I pay attention to.) Within days, Prince's estate sued to stop the release, and the single was taken down. Allegations of foul play emerged from Prince's camp, with a lawsuit saying the EP's release “deprives Prince (and now the Estate) from choosing what is released…

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Added by Sound Check on April 21, 2017 at 10:18am — No Comments

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